This week we were thrilled to have author Lauren Tarshis visit with our third, fourth and fifth graders in the auditorium. Not only did she personalize approximately 75 books for kids, but she connected with both students and teachers in the hour and a half that she stopped by. Through the support of our local bookstore, Words, we made this visit happen.
When I think about what made the visit so special, it had to be her stories of not having the reading “gift.” She explained how she couldn’t finish a book until high school and how she hid her reading concerns. As an adult, she wanted to be a writer and again faced challenges only to have an encounter with J.K. Rowling and understand how even someone as goddess-like as the creator of Harry Potter, can write an unsuccessful novel. Years later, Lauren has become a writer and a successful one at that. She inspires kids to learn about history and we thank her and her encounter with J.K. Rowling.
Clinton Elementary students were super psyched to meet author/illustrator Dave Roman in March. His visit marked the first time we have had a comic writer speak and it was worth the wait. His talk focused on his craft, but also on Astronaut Academy. Third – fifth grade students had been getting ready to meet him by creating their own versions of a space academy and were ready to discuss their ideas. Thank you Dave for visiting!
What happens when a librarian goes to the AASL conference and meets her favorite authors? Did you guess that she would be totally motivated to convince one of them, Adam Gidwitz, to visit her school? Well, I am happy to announce that Adam is visiting Clinton in April and the kids are totally psyched. Each 4th and 5th grade teacher has received a copy of A Tale Dark and Grimm to read to their class. You can totally tell that they have started reading due to the spike in requests for the book! Kids want their own copy to read along with in class and to read at home.
This year at the annual New Jersey Association of School Librarian’s Conference I got to meet Jarrett Krosoczka. Now I was already of fan of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series so I went in expecting good things. What I did not know was that I would become a huge fan of Jarrett as a person. He has inspired me to expand our collection of his books and bring his message and resources to more kids. He has a website, StudioJJK.com, filled with resources and activities for kids.
He also has one of the most popular TED Talks. His story of how this all came to be is pretty funny and an inspiration to me as a teacher as I also dream of one day giving a TED Talk on the power of library. Perhaps my dream will come true!
Author Lauren Oliver discusses how a book is made in 8 youtube videos. I enjoyed watching the episodes especially since I had read The Spindlers, her middle grade book that is the focus of this series.